Posted on: 22 January 2019

Two CNWL members of staff have been awarded funding by the Health Foundation, an independent charity, to be part of its Innovating for Improvement programme.

Innovating for Improvement aims to improve health and social care delivery and/or the way people manage their own health care through the redesign of processes, practices, services and models of delivery.

Consultant Psychiatrist Dr Owen Bowden-Jones and Researcher Dr Dima Abdulrahim will receive up to £75,000 of funding to support the implementation and measurement of their ATOMIC programme (Addiction TO Medication: Improving Care) project. The CNWL programme will run for 15 months from January 2019.

The project is an innovative learning intervention that aims to improve patient care by increasing clinicians’ knowledge and competence in identifying, assessing and managing the misuse of medication by young people. ATOMIC will develop an evidence-based mobile-learning app for the health workforce.

Young people’s drug use is changing.  As well as illicit drugs they are buying medications online. Used without prescription and medical supervision, these typically counterfeit medications have unpredictable and severe harms, including overdose and dependence. Front-line staffs are unfamiliar with risks of medication misuse and underestimate them

Dr Bowden-Jones, who is also Lead Clinician for the Club Drug Clinic and Addiction to Online Medicine (AtOM) service, said, “We are absolutely delighted to receive this award from the Health Foundation.

“Our project (ATOMIC) aims to improve the confidence and competence of front line staff in tackling the harms caused by prescription medication misuse. Working with stakeholders including patients, carers, CAMHS, school nurses and others we will develop educational tools for clinicians to support them in managing this emerging problem.”

Sarah Henderson, Assistant Director of Improvement Programmes at the Health Foundation, said: “We’re excited to support this project, one of twenty three that have been developed by frontline teams to improve health and social care across the UK.

“We are looking forward to working with the teams to develop their innovative ideas, put them into practice, and gather evidence about how their projects are improving care for patients.”